Articles by J. Hudson

About J. Hudson

Joe Hudson is a co-founder of HuskerMax. He launched a predecessor website in 1995 as a hobby during his 35-year career as a newspaper editor/writer. His Nebraska football fandom began in the mid-1960s when he was in elementary school in Omaha.  | Email

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 20

9/20/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 20: A welcome home for Huskers. A crowd of 1,000 cheered the Huskers as the team arrived Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Municipal Airport after the 21-21 tie with Southern Cal the night before. Few fans voiced disappointment with the deadlock in L.A., even if the players were in no mood to treat the result as a moral victory against…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 19

9/19/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 19: A tie with the touted Trojans. An 11-point underdog against third-ranked Southern Cal, Nebraska never trailed. The No. 9 Huskers might have won if not for a botched chip-shot field goal in the fourth quarter. Instead, a 21-21 tie was what they had to show for their toils Saturday night at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Afterward, the Huskers…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 18

9/18/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 18: Sports scribes not on same page. On the day before the big game against Southern Cal, what exactly was Nebraska's quarterback situation? Take your pick: Business as usual, or completely unsettled. It depended on which newspaper's final preview you were reading. In Lincoln, both the Star and the Journal treated quarterback Jerry Tagge's leg problem as a non-issue.…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 17

9/17/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 17: Thursday night lights and QB questions. Quarterback Jerry Tagge missed a second consecutive practice as the Huskers went through their plays under the lights Thursday night on the grass turf of Seacrest Field. Van Brownson, recovering from a prolonged stretch of elbow soreness, was said to be on target with his throws during the closed session in east…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 16

9/16/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 16: Twists and turns at quarterback. There was good and bad news at quarterback as Nebraska practiced in the rain Wednesday at Memorial Stadium. Van Brownson, severely limited for two weeks by an ailing elbow, resumed throwing a day earlier than expected. Jerry Tagge, however, did not practice after suffering a burst blood vessel in his leg Tuesday night.…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 15

9/15/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 15: Roster moves made on defense. Three previously unsettled positions on defense firmed up Tuesday, with two sophomores and a junior tagged as probable starters for Saturday night's game at Southern Cal. Coach Bob Devaney announced the first-team assignments for sophomore right end Willie Harper, junior tackle Larry Jacobson and sophomore cornerback Joe Blahak. Left defensive end John Adkins…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 14

9/14/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 14: Too much surf on the natural turf. Nebraska's grass practice fields were soggy Monday from rain, so the Huskers practiced on Memorial Stadium's AstroTurf. It wasn't an ideal situation given that Saturday's big game at Southern Cal would be played on natural turf. USC's 485 yards rushing against Alabama had Nebraska's attention. "We'll have to wait and see…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 13

9/13/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 13: Trojans looking impressive. Southern California loomed as a formidable opponent for Nebraska long before the season began. Now, six days before the West Coast showdown, the Huskers' task appeared even tougher. On Saturday, USC got everyone's attention by whipping Alabama on the road by three touchdowns. On Sunday, there was concern the Huskers would have to rely on…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 12

9/12/20 | J. Hudson
Joe Orduna eludes Wake Forest’s Frank Fussell en route to a 20-yard touchdown. Sept. 12: Tagge delivers vs. Deacons. A week filled with worries about the Nebraska quarterbacks’ health seemed like a distant memory by the time the Huskers were finished with Wake Forest, 36-12, in Saturday’s season opener. Jerry Tagge hit 9 of 12 passes for 168 yards, including…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 11

9/11/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 11: A tall task for Deacons. One thing hasn’t changed in 50 years: Little or no news typically comes out of Friday in-season practices. With that in mind, this series on Fridays will consist mainly of final pregame wrap-ups that appeared in the Friday evening or Saturday morning newspapers. The North Carolina press oozed pessimism about Wake Forest’s chances…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 10

9/10/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 10: Starting lineups firmed up. Likely starters were named at all positions but one after Thursday’s light workout. To nobody's surprise, Jerry Tagge got the nod at quarterback even though he was running at only two-thirds speed by coach Bob Devaney's estimation. Van Brownson’s ailing right elbow finally showed some improvement, and Devaney said the junior signal-caller might suit…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 9

9/9/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 9: Huskers ease up as game nears. With Jerry Tagge appearing more and more certain to start at quarterback against Wake Forest, there was growing concern Wednesday about Van Brownson's ailing right elbow. “We’re not even sure what the problem is," coach Bob Devaney said, adding: “I’m concerned about it even beyond Saturday.” Devaney said Tagge’s sore leg was…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 8

9/8/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 8: Tagge’s status brightens QB picture. The quarterback situation remained worrisome after Tuesday’s practice, but there was hope that Jerry Tagge could answer the bell Saturday against Wake Forest. “We got a full day of practice from Tagge, but Van looks more doubtful than ever,” coach Bob Devaney said. A leg bruised continued to slow Tagge. As for Van…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 7

9/7/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 7: Quarterbacks still on the mend. With Nebraska’s top two quarterbacks dinged up, sophomore Bob Jones was running the No. 1 offense during Monday’s practice. Coach Bob Devaney held out hope that Van Brownson and Jerry Tagge would be ready to play in Saturday’s opener against Wake Forest. Brownson was nursing a sore elbow, as he had been for…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 6

9/6/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 6: Huskers 9th in preseason poll. The Huskers learned they would start the season with a No. 9 national ranking as the Associated Press released its preseason Top Twenty poll Sunday. Ohio State and Texas claimed the top two spots, just ahead of No. 3 Southern Cal, Nebraska’s second opponent. The other ranked teams on the Huskers’ schedule were…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 5

9/5/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 5: Scrimmage fails to satisfy Devaney. The heavy work of fall camp ended as the Huskers played a game-like scrimmage Saturday in front of about 2,000 fans. The Red team, with the top offensive and defensive units, dominated the Whites, 47-3. Coach Bob Devaney wasn’t impressed, however, saying consistency was lacking with a week to go before the opener…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 4

9/4/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 4: Here are the captains. Dan Schneiss and Jerry Murtaugh were announced as Nebraska’s co-captains for 1970 after Friday’s practice. Fullback Schneiss was the team’s second-leading rusher in 1969, a year that saw linebacker Murtaugh set the school record for tackles in a single season. The two seniors were elected by their teammates. “Both are outstanding players and will…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 3

9/3/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 3: Hurtin’ Huskers wrap up two-a-days. It was the last of the two-a-days Thursday, and a few more banged-up Huskers joined the list of those who might sit out Saturday’s scrimmage. Things were so thin at center that coach Bob Devaney called up Dan Anderson in Fremont and had him rejoin the squad. Anderson had not been invited to…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 2

9/2/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 2: Snakebit at the center position. The Huskers took another hit at center as sophomore Doug Jamail suffered a badly sprained ankle during scrimmaging Wednesday. Sophomore Doug Dumler now appeared to be a shoo-in to start in the Sept. 12 opener against Wake Forest. Dumler, who began fall camp at No. 3, took over the No. 1 spot after…

1970 Day by Day: Sept. 1

9/1/20 | J. Hudson
Sept. 1: Still looking for a pass rush. An ineffective pass rush continued to concern coach Bob Devaney after a pair of practices on a hot and humid Tuesday, 11 days before the season opener against Wake Forest. With three starters from last season gone, the defensive secondary can ill afford the extra burden of an opposing quarterback with ample…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 31

8/31/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 31: From the mouth of Murtaugh. Little if anything remarkable happened on the practice field Monday as the Cornhuskers resumed two-a-days. What occurred afterward, though, has become ingrained in the lore surrounding the 1970 season. More than two dozen sports journalists observed the Huskers’ afternoon practice as the Big Eight Skywriters tour hit Lincoln. When the workout was finished,…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 30

8/30/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 30: One week down, two to go. In a break from two-a-days, the Huskers held a single practice Sunday and installed the final batch of offensive plays for the Sept. 12 season opener against Wake Forest. Coaches weren’t finished evaluating the four reels of film from Saturday’s scrimmage, so any lineup changes were yet to be announced. One exception…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 29

8/29/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 29: Offense steps up in scrimmage. Six touchdowns were rung up as the offense ruled the first major scrimmage of fall camp, but coach Bob Devaney wasn't hitting the panic button with his inexperienced defense. The two juniors vying for the top quarterback job put up similarly solid numbers. Jerry Tagge, playing mainly with the first team, completed 11…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 28

8/28/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 28: Tuning up for major scrimmage. On the eve of the first major scrimmage of fall, Bob Devaney said offensive consistency wasn’t what it needed to be. “We’re certainly not ready to play a game, but it’s coming along,” the Huskers’ head coach remarked after two-a-days Friday, the fifth day of fall practice. The Omaha World-Herald had a more…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 27

8/27/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 27: Pads go on, and the hitting begins. The Huskers strapped on full gear Thursday for the first time of fall camp, and coach Bob Devaney was pleased to say afterward that “those defensive guys haven’t forgotten how to hit.” The No. 1 defense, returning just three starters from 1969, stymied the No. 1 offense for the first several…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 26

8/26/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 26: A second Husker in sick bay. One day after moving up to the No. 1 spot at flanker, Johnny Rodgers was sidelined by pain in his side. The sophomore from Omaha missed Wednesday afternoon’s practice, joining senior right guard Donnie McGhee on the sick list and undergoing tests at the Student Health Center. “The doctors aren’t sure what…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 25

8/25/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 25: Offense coming along. A sore elbow kept Van Brownson from throwing much, but Jerry Tagge’s passing was sharp Tuesday, the Huskers’ second day of fall practice. Coach Bob Devaney said the installation of the offense was going quickly, a byproduct of the NCAA’s three-year-old no-pads rule covering the first three days of fall practices. Much of Tuesday was…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 24

8/24/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 24: Huskers hit the ground running. Coaches sent the Huskers on a 12-minute run as 1970’s fall practices began with two no-pads sessions Monday. Linemen were expected to cover at least 1½ miles in that time; backs and ends, 1¾ to 2 miles. Those targets were met “almost without exception,” said coach Bob Devaney, who declared the team was…

1970 Day by Day: Aug. 23

8/23/20 | J. Hudson
Aug. 23: Players report for fall camp. Fifty years ago today, more than 80 Cornhusker players reported for fall camp and posed for photos on Memorial Stadium’s new AstroTurf. It was the official start of a 132-day march to something special: the Nebraska football program’s first national championship. But on this summer Sunday, no one could have known that. How…

Nebraska: Kordell’s Kryptonite

6/3/20 | J. Hudson
Colorado quarterback Kordell Stewart was a dual-threat dynamo — except when he faced Nebraska. The Big Red had a way of making "Slash" look like an under-prepared third-stringer. The Big Eight’s all-time total offense leader with 7,770 yards, Stewart earned first-team all-conference honors as a senior in 1994. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected him in the second round of the 1995…

1922 Huskers’ brawn beats Notre Dame’s finesse

3/19/20 | J. Hudson
4th-quarter sack halts Irish uprising in last game at Nebraska FieldAs the fourth quarter began, it was gut-check time at Nebraska Field. Nebraska had run roughshod over Notre Dame during the first 30 minutes of play, but that was a distant memory. The 1922 Cornhuskers were now hanging on for dear life. STORY STATS NOTES JACK BEST Verne Lewellen charges…

1918: War, influenza and football

3/16/20 | J. Hudson
A timeline of the 1918 Nebraska Cornhuskers' season and the challenges caused by war and pandemic.• Back: Cypreanson, Hoyt, Dana, M. Munn, Ross, Schissler. • Middle: Kline, Jobes, Lantz, Reynolds, Dobson, Lanphere. • Front: Lyman, W. Munn, Schellenberg, Swanson, Hubka, Howarth, Newman, Best.  Running a college football program during a major war is a challenge enough. Calls to military duty…

Best of the Decade: All-2010s teams & top plays

12/31/19 | J. Hudson
Nebraska media outlets are weighing in with their own 2010s retrospectives, all-decade teams and more. We are compiling them on this page to complement our own decade reviews.     All-decade team HuskerMax has blended five publications' all-decade Nebraska teams into a composite 2010s squad. The teams were selected by The Athletic,* HuskerOnline (1, 2), the Omaha World-Herald (1, 2),*…

Best of the Decade: Team records

12/26/19 | J. Hudson
Record-best team accomplishments were a scarce commodity for Nebraska football in the 2010s. As noted in the previous segment, dozens of individual records were set. But safely out of reach for another decade were team records like the 1983 offense's 401.7 rushing yards per game and the 1967 defense's per-game average of 67.5 rushing yards allowed. Besides some record-setting comebacks,…

Best of the Decade: Individual record-setters

12/24/19 | J. Hudson
The Nebraska record book required frequent updates during the 2010s. Even as losses outnumbered wins in the decade's latter half, players were posting chart-topping numbers. In all, more than two dozen Huskers hold records for feats that occurred during the decade and/or for career totals that included at least one season in the 2010s. We'll start with these six who…

Best of the Decade: Claims to fame

12/16/19 | J. Hudson
Hall of Fame material? The Huskers had some during the 2010s. It became more and more rare as the decade went on, but three dozen Huskers earned honors that someday could land them in the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame. The threshold for HOF consideration: All-America or first/second team All-Big 12/Big Ten status. Ten of the 36 players earned first-,…

Best/Worst of the Decade: The blown leads

12/12/19 | J. Hudson
A dark cloud makes a brief visit today to our Best of the Decade series. As Monday's installment showed, the Huskers pulled off big comeback wins with exceptional frequency during the 2010s. But it's our duty to point out that the decade of the come-from-behind win was also the decade of the blown lead for Nebraska football. Seven times during…

Best of the Decade: The comebacks

12/9/19 | J. Hudson
Don't leave early. Don't even think about it. That's one thing the 2010s taught Huskers fans. It was the decade of the come-from-behind win for Nebraska football. Of the program's 31 known victories from a dozen or more points behind, 11 happened in the 2010-2019 seasons. That's almost quadruple the average rate of the previous seven decades. Embed from Getty…

Best of the Decade: Wins against ranked teams

12/5/19 | J. Hudson
The Huskers' 58.1% winning percentage in the 2010s was the third-lowest in program history, but there was still plenty to cheer about. Here we look back on Nebraska's nine victories over AP-ranked teams (based on gameday or final AP rankings). That was down from 12 in the previous decade. Gameday Final Date Opponent Score AP rank AP rank NU/Opp NU/Opp…

The lost spring games: 1922-29

3/21/19 | J. Hudson
We now know the first Nebraska football spring game probably occurred in 1922. But what about the subsequent years leading up to 1950, when the university's official recognition of spring games begins? Depending on one's criteria, there were spring games in as many as 22 of the 28 seasons from 1922 to 1949. Our year-by-year rundown started with the 1940s…

The lost spring games: 1930-39

3/20/19 | J. Hudson
We now know the first Nebraska football spring game probably occurred in 1922. But what about the subsequent years leading up to 1950, when the university's official recognition of spring games begins? Depending on one's criteria, there were spring games in as many as 22 of the 28 seasons from 1922 to 1949. Our year-by-year rundown started with the 1940s.…

The lost spring games: 1940-49

3/19/19 | J. Hudson
We now know the first Nebraska football spring game probably occurred in 1922. But what about the subsequent years leading up to 1950, when the university's official recognition of spring games begins? Depending on one's criteria, there were spring games in as many as 22 of the 28 seasons from 1922 to 1949. Our year-by-year rundown starts with the 1940s.…

1906 spring game? Yes and no

3/10/19 | J. Hudson
There’s no denying that Doane and Nebraska tangled on the gridiron in Lincoln on April 28, 1906, but this game had a purpose unlike any of the others we now call spring games. A sea change in football was just getting under way. The game had come under siege because of frequent deaths and gruesome injuries. In late 1905, Theodore Roosevelt…

Spring games: Busting a myth

2/20/19 | J. Hudson
Yes, Virginia, there were Nebraska football spring games before 1950. Long before. The university's official records list the 1950 Varsity-Alumni showdown as the first spring game. But the truth is that Husker spring games were being played before those midcentury Varsity men were born. As far back as the early 1920s, spring practices ended with an intra-squad game that fans…